There is nothing more upsetting for a family than when a loved one dies. Many of us simply wish to focus on our emotional well-being after suffering such a significant loss, however, we first must buckle down and deal with the estate administration process. Our firm understands that these are difficult times, which is why we are here to help you, every step of the way. Please read on to learn more about probate in Michigan:

What is probate?

When a loved one passes away, his or her estate will generally enter the probate process. Essentially, probate is the process by which a decedent’s estate is closed. While in certain circumstances, with the help of an experienced estate planning attorney, probate may be avoided completely, however, if your loved one’s estate is already going through the probate process, you must continue reading to learn more about the weeks or months to come.

What is the difference between formal and informal probate proceedings?

As long as your loved one left a valid last will and testament, his or her assets will be distributed through the probate process. Formal probate proceedings usually take place in a courtroom setting and in front of a judge of the Probate Court. However, formal proceedings are generally only conducted when there is a dispute regarding the will, or if a personal representative needs to be appointed by the Probate Court.

Generally, a personal representative will be named in the will, however, if not, the Probate Court will select its own personal representative to administer the estate. Estate administration involves the marshaling of assets, the payment of charges, and the distribution of any remaining assets to all heirs and beneficiaries. Informal proceedings, on the other hand, are generally less stressful for families, as they take place outside of the courtroom, and instead in front of a probate register.

When can I close an estate?

You can only close a loved one’s estate if it has been open for at least five months, you have published a notice to creditors at least four months before closing, and you have ensured that all estate and inheritance taxes, as well as all inventory fees, have been paid. Our seasoned estate planning and administration attorneys are here to help, from start to finish.

Contact our experienced Michigan firm today

Sometimes, divorce, family, and estate matters are difficult to navigate. Fortunately, they do not have to be with the assistance of a compassionate, knowledgeable attorney who is willing to guide you every step of the way. If you need a seasoned firm to help you with any divorce, family or estate-related matter, please do not hesitate to contact Collis & Griffor today to schedule a consultation.

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